WATCH | Thuso Mbedu chats to Trevor Noah about unlearning many things to become Cora

17 May 2021 - 08:00 By deepika naidoo
Thuso Mbedu speaks about her role as Cora on 'The Underground Railroad'.
Thuso Mbedu speaks about her role as Cora on 'The Underground Railroad'.
Image: Youtube/The Daily Show

Actress Thuso Mbedu has opened up about working with Viola Davis and her role as Cora in The Underground Railroad.

Chatting with fellow SA-born Hollywood star Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, Thuso spoke about how she got into character for her lead role Cora.

The star said she had to unlearn her previous knowledge of slavery. 

“I realised early on that I had a lot of unlearning to do to learn the truth, in the sense that what I knew about the enslaved body in America was shaped by media in a very white male gaze, so that serves a particular agenda. So I had to throw all of that away and completely be open to new information,” she said.

The star also opened up about striking the balance between herself and the character, as she believes it is easy to take on a character's emotions, not just in front of the camera. 

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With the country excited about #ThusoMbeduDay, fans are ready to binge-watch The Underground Railroad. On the road to the show, the star recently took to social media to gush about working with “amazing” director Barry Jenkins. 

Working with Barry was amazing. It was one of the easiest things I've done. He makes it easy, man. It's like having a conversation — an easy, flowing, unforced conversation. We all knew and understood what we working towards and, through collaboration, we were able to help each other get there,” wrote Thuso. 

She explained that through Barry's vision, he showed the cast what humanity looks like. She says that he made the cast and crew feel safe on set. 

“Through him just being him, he showed us what humanity looks like. Barry is also very kind. He is crazy and funny and so welcoming and respectful of everyone. He has this thing where he’ll randomly check in to see if you’re OK. That just made everyone feel safe and understood,” she said.

Read her full post below: